AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
Tesla’s next car will be a lot cheaper than previously expected. In fact, it could cost as little as $25,000. CEO Elon Musk confirmed last year that its first mass market car, the Model 3, would price at about $35,000.
Iwas in the driver's seat of the Tesla Model S, but I wasn't really driving. My hands weren't on the steering wheel. My feet weren't on the pedals. Software and sensors were doing the real work. I had been reduced to a back-up system. I monitored the city traffic mostly out of habit.
Following some Model S owners pulling stupid and dangerous stunts behind the wheel, Tesla is reportedly ready to place limits on its Autopilot feature.
Tesla's commitment to developing and refining the technologies to enable self-driving capability is a core part of our mission. In October of last year we started equipping Model S with hardware to allow for the incremental introduction of self-driving technology: a forward radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, and a high-precision digitally-controlled electric assist braking system.
An autonomous driving mode that will take some of the strain off of drivers during long trips should arrive in Tesla cars in the next few weeks. Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk promised the feature as part of a "summer" update, and while Tesla will miss that deadline by a couple of weeks, it is about to roll it out.
It's a detail that only further cements his image as the real-life Tony Stark: Tesla's CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he personally tests Tesla's new autopilot feature every week. It's almost as if he's using himself as a crash-test dummy. The statement came at the company's annual shareholder meeting.
John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends BMW, Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. Auto maker adds self-parking 'summon' feature Tesla Motors Inc. implemented restrictions on where it will allow its vehicles to use autopilot after many owners took videos of themselves driving hands-free in dangerous situations.
Tesla Motors Autopilot Hits Turbulence As Hong Kong Officials Order Driver Assistance Software Removed From Model S
Tesla Model S owners in Hong Kong discovered this week features letting their luxury electric cars steer and change lanes automatically had been disabled wirelessly. The city's Transportation Department demanded Tesla Motors Inc. disable the software controls two months after the company released the semiautonomous driving technology.
Starting in October, 2014. every Tesla Model S has been built with an array of cameras and sensors that monitor the perimeter of the car. That hardware will allow it to become almost a self-driving car once the software to manage it gets perfected.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel Tesla's evolving autopilot technology is close to getting a key update. Right now, the feature makes Model S cars semiautonomous. Autopilot-equipped models can detect vehicles and obstacles ahead, read speed-limit signs, and detect pedestrians.
Tesla Motors Inc. is relying on the good old-fashioned turn signal as one potential solution to a liability debate associated with driverless vehicle technology. The Silicon Valley electric car maker will soon begin equipping newer Model S sedans with semiautonomous features, including the capability to pass other cars without driver intervention.
While the main focus of today's Tesla press call was the software update meant to end range anxiety ", Elon also dropped a few details on other things they're working on right now for release in the coming months... and, well, they're pretty damned cool. Self-steering cars, anyone?
Despite the prolonged depression in oil prices Tesla’s sales continue to be strong. With sales of 50,580 units in 2015, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) hit it’s delivery target for the year. Even taking into account the lag to sales figures that comes from pre-ordering, where demand from the market isn’t seen until the following year, this is impressive.
However, the value of Tesla rests on the sales of the Model 3, a lower cost car than the high-end luxury cars it currently sells. And last year, it’s the low-cost end of the Electric Vehicle market that’s taken a hit.
So the future value of Tesla’s stock, which is already sitting at 5x revenue and zero profit, depends on the one area of EV sales that is falling.
Tesla 2015 Target: Model X
Tesla delivered 17,400 cars in the final three months of the year, up from 11,603 the quarter before.
However, Tesla had predicted deliveries of between 17,000 to 19,000. The shortfall was due to delays in launching the Model X, Tesla’s new SUV. Tesla expects to sell around 200 Model X cars in the fourth quarter, down from a predicted sales level of 4000.
The delay led to a in J.P. Morgan’s estimate for fourth-quarter earnings. As a result, TSLA, declined 3.1% to $196.38, the lowest closing price since April 2015.
Earlier this month, Tesla detailed its fourth-quarter deliveries, which included barely more than 200 Model X cars. The company seemed to take a cautious early approach to the Model X release, reportedly keeping early deliveries near to its Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters to ensure a quick response to any problems after the carmaker was dinged for a series of issues by Consumer Reports.
Tesla will release earnings for the fourth quarter and full year after the market closes on Feb. 10.
An enthusiast has taken drone pictures of Tesla’s new Gigafactory as it takes shape in Reno, Nevada. The shots clearly show the extent of the solar panels on the factory’s roof. Tesla claim that these will make the Gigafactory carbon neutral overall.
Picture Credit: wk057 at teslamotorsclub.com
Recently [Tesla Motors Inc](http://tesla motors.com) (TSLA) has been hiring heavily in an area which at first sight appears to be far from the luxury car market. In a series of job adverts Tesla is looking for high level executives, managers, and engineers to be part of its stationary storage business unit. The adverts describes this as a multi billion dollar business unit of Tesla Motors.
Tesla’s Push into Stationary Storage
Tesla has always seen itself as more than just a car company. From the start it funded its early development through energy innovation and in particular in innovating around batteries. Its early growth was funded through investment from Toyota and Daimler, who were interested in Tesla’s battery technology to help further their own electric vehicle programs.
In June 2014 Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, featured as the keynote speaker at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention, in New Orleans, a conference attended by the CEOs of America’s largest utility companies.
Last month Tesla announced that it would have a product shipping to the home energy storage market within six months. This followed the involvement of Mr Musk as Chair and shareholder of Solar City (SCTY), a solar panel innovation company.
Why is Tesla Interested in Home Storage Batteries?
The attraction of the stationary storage market lies in its high margin, low cost structure and the relatively low competition in comparison to other markets such as automobiles. Where setting up dealership support and manufacturing networks in the car industry is a famously time-consuming and costly business, producing power storage units which can pay for themselves by allowing small green technology generators to move off-grid is simply an easier sell.
For an innovator who gets this right the rewards are waiting. Hawaii for example produces more power during the day that it can use, proving problematic for its power grid which has to deal with the energy and consumer side production as well as holding in reserve enough power for evenings and through the night.
The general peaky nature of green technology has so far prevented it from allowing users to do away with their utilities connection, a move which is eagerly awaited in many rural areas where it could provide substantial cost savings. The UK government has been recently criticised for favouring existing utilities in an auction for future power capacity, acknowledgement of its continuing dependence on power generation capacity despite investment in green technology such as offshore wind farms. A cost-effective method for storing energy would change that and change the economic’s of distributed power generation in favour of greater green energy production.
Battery Development Challenge
But although the rewards are there the barrier to successfully creating this market is high. Battery technology has proven difficult to develop, partly because it’s relatively poorly understood. Unit production costs remain high. Power density, the measure of the amount of power for unit mass, remains modest. Although there have been some innovations notably in the use of chemicals to store large amounts of energy, the take up so far has been poor.
It’s this same problem that Tesla is attempting to solve by the construction of its Gigafactory, a large scale production factory for lithium ion batteries which will come online early next year. Being built in Nevada in partnership with Panasonic, it will produce batteries in the quantities needed to push down unit costs to manageable levels. Tesla believes that this will fundamentally change the economics of owning an electric vehicle. Its intention is to produce a $35,000 electric vehicle for the mass market, a target that it won’t reach without a substantial drop in the production cost of battery technology.
Stationary Storage a Larger Opportunity?
Although the problem is being solved initially for electric vehicles the same solution can be applied to distributed energy storage. In many ways this is simpler proposal. Distributed storage does not have the same considerations as car batteries over weight and power density. Stationary storage can have a longer payback period than a car. According to Lux Research, an energy analyst, its $50 billion annual revenue also makes it a higher growth market.
This is why Tesla is hiring so heavily in this area. It’s also why the likes of Oncor Electric, a Texan power distributor, has had discussions with Tesla about the use of its battery technology.
It may be that over the long term Tesla’s early years as an auto-maker are soon eclipsed by a far brighter future as an innovator in Utilities.
Tesla first unveiled its Model X crossover utility vehicle (CUV) back in 2012, although it’s not set to release until later this year. This is the first time it’s been caught on video.
Tesla’s P85D is already fast. Really, really fast. But it’s about to get faster because of an over-the-air update.
Tesla Motors shares have dropped 13% in 2015. Falling oil prices and new alternative energy car competition may have hurt the company.